The British Society of Plant Breeders (BSPB) has welcomed the publication of a new report by the independent Regulatory Horizons Council (RHC) which provides recommendations to Government on how the UK can take a leading role in shaping future regulation of genetic technologies to support the rapid and safe introduction of beneficial new crop varieties.
The RHC report supports the proposals of the recent government consultation and builds on them by providing additional recommendations for what a new regulatory approach should look like over the longer term. It suggests the changes could significantly reduce the cost and time to market for new products, unlocking innovation in the development of plant and animal varieties that can benefit consumers, the environment and long-term economic growth in the UK.
BSPB welcomes the RHC report’s ambition for the UK to be a world leader in the future regulation of genetic technologies, balancing a sensible risk-based approach with a more ‘innovation-friendly’ approach, and we particularly welcome the report’s endorsement of the Government’s proposals to take simple gene editing out of the scope of current GMO regulations. We look forward to an announcement from Defra very soon as a first step towards freeing up research and innovation in this area,” said BSPB chief executive Samantha Brooke.
“In its report, the [RHC] is also right to highlight the importance of genetic innovation as the foundation for more sustainable agriculture, particularly in helping farmers adapt to climate change and to protect crops against pests and diseases while reducing chemical use.”